Posts tagged: research impact

REF submission – March 2021 and post-REF plans

Our final submission to the REF2021 exercise is fast approaching, but what are the plans for impact post-REF?

The University considers research impact not as a means to an end, but as a public good in itself and our researchers have a duty to demonstrate impact from our research. This is particularly important for research which is publicly funded, but is relevant for all of our research. Impact is central to our Industry Collaboration Strategy, and inherent in our focus on the connected, co-created, and transformational research which will inform our new Research and Enterprise strategy. read more


Research Impact Fund 2020/21 – Special Call

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2017-2027 places impact at its heart, with one of its core values being to ‘transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries to deliver innovative fundamental and applied research with impact’.

With this in mind, the Research Impact Fund is offering individuals and groups up to £3000 that must be match-funded by their School/Research Centre, in support of activities that reflect the University’s desire to increase the impact and reach of its research for future REF exercises and wider activities. read more


REF 2021: Updated internal deadlines for 2021

As has been communicated over the past few months, the REF2021 final deadline has been moved to midday 31 March 2021. This takes into account the period of disruption during 2020 because of Covid-19.

The UoS REF team are working hard to ensure that we meet this deadline in good time and have been coordinating activities over the past few months around submission to the three areas that are assessed as part of the REF exercise, namely Outputs (60% of the overall score); Impact (25% of the overall score) and Environment (15% of the overall score). read more


REF submission deadline 31 March 2021 : Update

The recommencement of REF 2021 marks the start of the countdown to the revised submission deadline of midday, 31 March 2021, following a period during which the exercise was on hold in response to COVID-19.

As a result, our internal deadlines have moved and we are now working full steam ahead towards our new submission deadline in 2021.

New internal and external deadlines for the REF submission are as follows:

December 2020

1December: submission of 15 x impact case study drafts for final external peer review read more


School Impact Leads for 2020/21

The Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator (Emma Sutton) will be working with the newly created School Impact Leads (formerly REF Impact Coordinators) to support the development of impact activities within their research groupings/Schools with a view to creating case studies to showcase the University’s breadth of impact activity and for the purposes of assessment exercises such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

They will coordinate closely with the School ADRI and the University’s Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator to maximise the impact of the University’s research by undertaking the following key responsibilities:  read more


Impact Action Plans for 2020/21

Following the successful implementation of the Impact Case Study Action Plans with our identified REF impact case study leads during 2018/19, and expanded more widely to include other researchers achieving impact in 2019/20, this process will be continued more strategically in the new academic year 2020/21.

The aim of these Plans is to set a number of SMART objectives to guide researchers through the development and monitoring of impact from their research projects as they progress.

Key areas of focus include: read more


‘Impact’ on Impact Preparations for REF2021

There is currently still some uncertainty around revised dates for REF2021. What we know at this stage is that the final REF2021 submission deadline has been moved from 27 November 2020 to some point in 2020, but this will be 31 March 2020 at the earliest.

The REF2021 impact generation period was originally set to end 31 July 2020. Given the ongoing challenges around the current coronavirus pandemic, Research England has consulted with the sector and it appears likely that the current impact generation period will be extended for an additional 5 months to 31 December 2020 in order to allow case study leads to undertake activities that have had to be cancelled or deferred as a result of Covid-19 within the new timeframe. read more


Public Engagement and Impact

Public engagement counts as one of the principal ‘pathways’ to generating and capturing impact from your research. If you are able to disseminate your research findings to a wider audience, thus engaging different stakeholders, you will be able to clearly demonstrate and evidence whether your research is truly having a real-world impact.

There are some really useful resources out there to help you to get started with your public engagement activities. The best website to start with is the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement – NCCPE, which can be found at: https://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/ read more


Guidance on Impact Evidence Collection for REF2021

Now that the time for generating impact is drawing to a close (cut-off for impact generation for inclusion in case studies is 31 July 2020), focus should be turning towards the collection and collation of evidence to corroborate the impacts being claimed.

One main source of impact evidence that many of our case study leads will be using is testimonial evidence.

Below is an example of best practice in how to obtain a testimonial:

  • Maintain ongoing informal discussions with your testimonial contacts so that they are primed for your request
  • Decide which form of testimonial would work best with your chosen contact: this could be a video testimonial, a written testimonial or an interview, which is then written up into a testimonial
  • The ‘interview’ process could unfold as follows:
  1. Case study lead reflecting on what contact and others had said (this may take a few months of iterative refinement of bullet points)
  2. Case study lead turning the bullet points into questions
  3. Case study lead then ordering the questions to be logical to be used in an interview with the contact
  4. Case study lead obtaining formal permission to conduct an interview for a testimonial to be developed which would ultimately be used in REF submission and appear on our web-page for impact
  5. Case study lead conducting the interview either face-to-face, via Skype or phone and recording it
  6. Case study lead transcribing the interview and extracting ‘the important stuff’ into a basic narrative
  7. Case study lead sharing the basic narrative with School Impact Lead/University’s Impact Coordinator for constructive feedback in order to create the first draft of the testimonial
  8. Case study lead sharing the draft testimonial with colleagues to provide critical feedback and then re-editing where necessary
  9. Case study lead sending the testimonial to their contact, suggesting that they edit to what they are happy with and then signs off (on letter-headed paper)

This process can take some time, so this must be factored in when requesting testimonials. read more


REF2021 Countdown to Submission

Calling all impact case study leads!

We are now fast approaching REF2021 submission and with this in mind, we would like to remind colleagues of the impact case study deadlines that we are working to for the remainder of 2020:

Internal Peer Review  – March/April 2020

  • Revised draft of impact case studies submitted late February/early March
  • 4 Panels (as per REF panels A, B, C, D) to review a batch of case studies during March
  • 4 Panel meetings to be held to discuss and collate feedback during April

External Peer Review – May/June 2020

  • Insights for Impact consultant, Saskia Gent, will be reviewing all of our likely impact case study submissions between mid-May and mid-June 2020
  • Feedback will be provided to all impact case study leads in the form of a written report and annotations on their drafts

Impact Generation Deadline – 31 July 2020

  • The cut-off point for generating impact to be included in impact case studies is 31 July 2020
  • It is possible still to collect testimonial information and other impact evidence beyond this time, but all evidence must clearly refer to impact that has taken place between 1 August 2013 and 31 July 2020

Submission of 4th Impact Case Study Draft – 30 September 2020

  • All impact case study leads will be expected to provide a complete narrative, as well as their sources of evidence to corroborate the impact by this time

Impact Action Plan Year-End Review Meetings – September & October 2020

  • Final action plan meetings will be organised in the build-up to the final submission in November 2020 in order to ensure that all submissions are on track for delivery

One-to-one Sessions with Chris Simms to Improve Narratives – September – November 2020 read more